User Manual

New AppTracker Reports & Analysis

Four new reports have been added to AppTracker

  1. Packaging Impact Analysis
  2. User-Apps Readiness Report
  3. Blueprint-App Readiness Report
  4. Deployment Unit Apps Readiness Report

To access these reports, just select the users you wish to report on and the Click Reports as shown below:

New Reports

It's been an extremely busy four months with AppTracker. The User Migration module is really coming on in leaps and bounds with the new Application Readiness reports. It's now possible to answer the question:

"which applications do I have to package first in order to  provide the most amount of users ready for migration?"

These new reports put the project manager firmly in control of the user migration schedule and allow them to concentrate on the logistics of delivering the solution. It was a real eye opener to be able to go into a project the other day, analyse the data and tell the client that if they packaged the top 40 applications then 60% of their 14,000 user base could be migrated from an application perspective.

Packaging Impact Analysis

This is the highlight of AppTracker’s latest features. This report allows you see your current state of readiness (the blue bars) and your predicted state of readiness if you let AppTracker pick the applications to package first. 

Packaging Impact Analysis

By using the interactive gauges it's possible to see the effect your packaging effort will have on the overall user migration readiness. To then be able to break that data down into Blueprints (i.e. by department or geographical area) and confidently say that the Finance department will be in a position to be migrated in September is very powerful indeed.

Impact Analysis Guages

These new reports can be accessed from the Reports menu in the User Migration and Deployment Unit sections of AppTracker.

User Apps Readiness Report

This is an update to the previous User Apps Readiness Report but it now has a new layout and better ‘What If’ options so you can see the impact of packaging specific apps or whole processed of apps on your estate. 

User Apps Readiness

Blueprint Apps Readiness Report

Get individual Readiness of your users on a Blueprint level, see which Blueprints are closest to being ready.

Blueprint Apps Readiness

Deployment Unit Apps Readiness Report

Get individual Readiness of your users on a Deployment Unit, see which DU’s are closest to being ready.

Deployment Unit Apps Readiness



New AppTracker Interactive User Guide

It’s been a long time coming but the AppTracker User Guide is here. 

www.apptrackercloud.com/help

This guide will be regularly updated with more topics, reports, FAQs and tips. Its simple layout allows you to browse topics on the right hand side. Clicking the topic will open the article in the bottom window. The top window holds a demo version of AppTracker where you can follow the instructions from the article and try them out in AppTracker for yourself.

User Guide

Bonus

For AppTracker customers with the latest update, a ‘?’ help icon has been added to the top right of AppTracker. Clicking this icon will open the User Guide in a new window and it will also load your instance of AppTracker in the top window so you can use your own login and run reports on your own data.

Help Icon on Tool Bar


API & PowerShell

It has long been a goal of us here to allow AppTracker to be used as a platform, our API is a big step towards that goal. Using our API developers and scripters can build extensions to AppTracker bespoke to their business requirements.

AppTracker’s API is a soap based web service that can be accessed from PowerShell, Excel and traditional desktop applications. The API uses AppTracker’s role based security and every call is checked and validated.

Example Scenarios:

  • Custom Reports – Create in-depth excel reports with colours, conditions, charts and more.
  • Automate Tasks – Documentation, group membership, copy files and folders etc.
  • AD Integration – Add users to groups, create users in AT from AD group membership.

  • SCCM Integration – Create packages and collections in SCCM from AppTracker
  • Capture Events – App Raised , Processes Changed, UAT’s signed off etc.

 

PowerShell Module

To make accessing the API even easier we have created a PowerShell module of over 90 Cmdlets!

Example Cmdlets:

  • Get-ATAllApplications
  • Add-ATNewApplication
  • Add-ATApplicationDependencies
  • Save-ATApplication
  • Search-ATApplicationsByProcess
  • Get-UserMigrationsRequestingAnApplication
  • Get-ATAllUserMigrations
  • Save-ATUserMigration
  • Get-ATUserMigrationDataMiningReport
  • Get-ATApplicationDataMiningReport
  • Search-ATDeploymentUnitsByDateRange

Notification Center

AppTracker has always supported the idea of notifications either via email or directly inside the application itself. The in-app notifications work much like Outlook’s popup for new email and just as in Outlook if you miss the notification it’s gone.


To address this we have added a Notification Center to AppTracker; this holds the last 50 messages received by the application. These can be viewed by clicking the  icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Notification Popup

To subscribe to the various different notifications in AppTracker you simple click the “My Settings” tab and pick from the list of available notifications.

e.g. Notify we when :

  • A new application is raised
  • An application is assigned to me
  • An application is moved to complete
  • A UAT is signed off

Notification Center

Notification Center


Questionnaire Introduction

Questionnaires in AppTracker are dynamic forms that you get to design an build according to your needs. This is part one of a three part series exploring Questionnaires. I'll talk about where they are used, how to building a questionnaire and reporting on them. In this introduction video I show how a tradition QA form in Word can be converted to a Questionnaire form in AppTracker. Future posts will cover modelling more complex forms and reporting.

Managing Your Change History

AppTracker goes a long way to record all changes to an Application or Migration over its life. These can be changes to its basic properties such as name, vendor, version or it can be adding UAT's note, discovery information etc. All these changes are recorded with the before and after values as well as by who and when. This level of history drives a lot of AppTracker's internal reporting and is exposed to you so that you can generate your own custom reports. At the end of this video I create a simple ad-hoc report that shows all the changes to the applications in the Finance department over the previous two weeks, what type of changes were made and who made them.

Application Dependencies

An important part of the packaging and deployment process is tracking application dependencies. We need to not only know if a specific application is ready but also if all of its dependencies are ready too. We need to know what impact changing an application version might have and what needs to be retested. We need to find problems in our chain such as a application being a dependency of itself or having a dependency that is cancelled. All of this information can be mined from AppTracker using the dependencies tab and grid filters.

When looking at a specific application we need to be able to see:

  • What dependencies does this application have
  • What other applications have this application as a dependency 
  • The full chain of all sub-dependencies, not simply the first level 
  • Where in the chain does this application sit

Application Dependencies

When looking at our portfolio as a whole we need to see:

  • Which applications have dependencies
  • Which applications are used as dependencies

Application Dependencies


Application Information Tabs

One of our design goals with AppTracker was to make it as customisable as possible. We are able to model any application migration process and even track non-application migrations, such as server migrations, build releases or user migrations… more on that in a later post. The default configuration of AppTracker comes with a lot of possible customisations pre-configured for you. We model a standard application migration process and then allow you to completely customise AppTracker for your project. All of this application information is stored in the various Application Tabs.

  • App Details
  • Discovery Info
  • Custom Tabs (1-3)
  • App Testing
  • Contacts
  • Dependencies
  • QA Checks
  • Compatibility
  • License
  • Attachments
  • History

App Details

The App Details Tab lists all of the most important application information on one screen. It is split into eight sections, plus a list of notes. The number of notes currently added to this application is shown as a counter in the tab name, e.g. “App Details (6)”.

The tool bar gives you access to actions where you can save your changes, reload the application (discarding any changes), generate a PRF Word document, add notes and raise a new version of the application while carrying over all of the application knowledge to the new application.

It is possible to customise all of the details on this page; you can show/hide all the elements as well as rename the labels. This allows you to model items other than applications such as Server (Name, Make, Model, Build etc.…)

 App Details Tab

  • Application – Basic App info (e.g. Name, Vendor, Version, AKA, Id…)
  • Application Details – Extended App info (e.g. Process / Sub-Process, Assigned to, Package Type, Priority…)
  • Blueprints – The list of Blueprints this application is a part of.
  • Flags – List of possible user defined flags that can be toggled on/off for this application.
  • Misc. Info – Some extra information (date entered process, time in process, date required, due in (weeks)).
  • Description – A short description of the application.
  • On Hold – Shows if this application is currently on hold and how long it’s been on hold in its lifetime.
  • Custom Properties – A list of 18 user defined properties (see here for more details)
  • Notes – A list of notes added to this application to date. The notes also show the date it was added, who added it and the process it was related to.

Discovery Info

The Discovery Tab is one of our most flexible tabs and requires a dedicated post to describe how to setup and configure it. For now, we'll give you a summary of what it looks like. Traditionally Discovery has been done in the form of Word docs and questionnaires. Our Discovery Tab models this by allowing you to create an unlimited number of questions and sections. However, the information is stored in AppTracker and not in loose Word documents. This means everything about an application is stored in a searchable and reportable manner. A change history of all this information can be recorded in case you need to look back in time to an earlier version. Your Discovery Tab is your single version of the truth of the application’s information. This information can be exported as a Word doc for sending to your customer or off-shore team.

Discovery Info

Questions can be modelled as:

  • Headers – This highlights the header but does not pose a question; good for creating sub sections.
  • Text Boxes – For single word or short detail answers e.g. “Server Name: ”
  • Text Blocks – For longer paragraph style answers e.g. “Printer Connection Instructions: ”
  • Radio Buttons – For mutually exclusive answers e.g. “Requires License: (Yes, No)”
  • Check Boxes – For multiple possible answers "e.g. “Active Protocols: (http, https, ftp, SSL)“
  • Dropdown Lists – Works much like the Radio Buttons but allows for a much longer list of options e.g. “Language: (English , French, German …etc.)
  • Date / Time Pickers – For recording dates and times e.g. “License Expiry Date: ”

Custom tabs (1, 2 and 3)

AppTracker provides three blank custom tabs that you can name and populate using AppTracker’s Questionnaire forms. These tabs work exactly the same as the Discovery Tab above.

App Testing

The App Testing Tab is another Tab that deserves its own post and will get one soon but for now here is a brief introduction. The App Testing Tab is used for scheduling, signing off and reporting on tests such as UAT tests, OAT tests and client specific tests etc.

To create an App Test..

  1. Select the type of application test e.g. UAT
  2. The user to perform the test e.g. Joe Bloggs
  3. The testing window that the test machine is available e.g. 1/1/2012 – 7/1/2012
  4. The machine on which to perform the test e.g. PC00001

You can send an email from within AppTracker to the user with all the details they need to conduct the test including an RDP attachment and ICS calendar invite.

The email received contains a link to a web address that is part of the AppTracker system. Clicking the link takes the user to a questionnaire of standard UAT sign off questions (defined by you). The user can then flag the test as a Success or Fail. It is possible to have AppTracker send you an email notification for these sign offs.

The App Testing tab is split into two sections. The top half is a grid view of all current tests and their results. From here you can edit a test, resend emails and view test results. The lower half shows a calendar view of upcoming tests and their results. These are colour coded by their result; Green – Pass, Red – Fail , Amber – Untested.

Much of the reporting on Application Tests can be done from the main Applications Grid.

App Testing

Contacts

Applications can have contacts associated with them; these are people such as UAT testers, Discovery contacts and application owners etc. The types of contacts listed here can be edited by you. The number of contacts currently associated with this application is shown in the tab name. i.e. “Contacts (3)”. 
The contacts toolbar lets you search for existing contacts, add contacts to this application and create new contacts.

Contacts

Dependencies

It is possible to set up three different types of dependencies in AppTracker. You can add a pre-requisite, a post-requisite or an alternate application. The alternate application information can be useful if you are trying to consolidate different applications or versions e.g. adding Photoshop as an alternate application for any imaging editing application in your portfolio.

The dependencies tab also shows if the current application is a “dependency-of” any other applications in the portfolio. The number of dependencies currently associated with this application is shown in the tab name. i.e. “Dependencies (2)”.

Dependencies

QA Checks

Most application packaging projects will have a QA phase where applications are checked against a list of internal checks. It is possible to model these checks in AppTracker using our Questionnaire forms (see the Discovery Tab). This allows all the QA information that would be normally be captured in a Word doc or Excel sheet to be captured within AppTracker.

It is possible to have multiple QA’s per application allowing an application to go through an iterative phase:  Package -> QA (fail) –> Repackage –>QA (pass) cycle and retain information on each iteration. It is also possible to report on groups of applications QA status from the applications grid tool bar “Reports -> QA Results”.

QA Checks

Compatibility

The compatibility tab records an application’s various different compatibility issues, the list of issues is user defined; the default list include options such as “Windows 7” , “IE 8”, “Office 2010”. Each of the compatibility entries can be set to 32/64bit and Red/Amber/Green; you can also add a comment as to why the application is in the compatibility status. It is possible to quickly find applications with compatibility issues from the applications grid using the toolbar “Application Filters -> Standard Searches -> Compatibility Issues”.

Compatibility

License

The license tab records some basic license information such as serial keys, codes, quantity and amount used etc. The road map for AppTracker includes reporting on license usage.

License

Attachments

It is possible to attach different types of documents, images, source files etc. to your application and to tag these attachments as different things, e.g. “Screen Shot”, “License Key”, “Source Files”. Applications that have attachments can be quickly filtered on the applications grid from the toolbar: “Application Filters -> Attachments”.

Attachments

History

The History Tab contains a complete record of everything that has happened to an application during its life time. This includes events like “Name Changes”, “Process Changes”, “Adding and Signing Off UATs” and adding contacts. All of these changes record the event, the date/time it occurred, the before and after value and the person that made the change. There is a history report available from the toolbar “Reports -> Change History” that allows you to view all the changes to a group of applications for a given date range.

History


Email and Notifications

AppTracker supports sending emails from AppTracker to users and application testers. The “My Settings” section of AppTracker list a number of “AppTracker Events” that users can choose to subscribe to. AppTracker also supports popup notifications allowing users to get alerts even if there is no email server available.

Popup Notifications

It’s possible to run AppTracker locally as well as access from your browser. When running locally AppTracker has some extra functionality such as pop-up notifications. These pop-ups look very much like the new mail notifications in Outlook and contain a mini view of the information contained in the corresponding email notification. It’s possible to set your alerts to “Email Only, “Notifications Only” or “Both”.

Email Events & Settings

Event Scope - Paused / Global / Blueprint

Nearly all email events have three options for deciding when to send them .

  • Paused – No alerts will be sent for this event 
  • Blueprint – The user will only receive an alert if the application firing this event is in the list of Blueprints the user is “Watching”. This is very useful if it is a large project and users work has been partitioned off into Blueprints. 
  • Global – The user will receive an alert each time this event is fired anywhere in AppTracker, this is not affected by which Blueprints user is “Watching”

Email Events & Settings

AppTracker Email Events

Here is the current list of “AppTracker Events” a user can listen for, this list is continually growing.

Applications

  • Application is assigned to me
  • New application is raised
  • Application is added to a Blueprint
  • Application is removed from a Blueprint
  • Application is placed On / Off Hold
  • Application is Archived / Un-Archived
  • Application has been deleted

Application Testing

  • Application test is signed off
  • Copy me in tests I send
  • Notify my of any tests sent
  • Test machine status changed
  • Test machine assigned to me

Publishing

  • Publishing request raised
  • Publishing request is complete
  • Publishing status has changed

User Migration

  • User signs off an audit
  • Users bulk import complete

Process

Watching processes works slightly different; a user ticks the processes they need to monitor and will receive a email/notification when an application enters one of those processes. Watching processes can also be restricted to applications in particular Blueprints.

Email Templates

While AppTracker contains a default message for all of the events above, it is possible to override this default message using some html and AppTracker key words (e.g. [%ApplicationName%],[%Process%][%OwnerName%]) to construct your own email messages.

Application Grid–Tips and Tricks

One of the advantages of using Silverlight as a front-end instead of html/ajax is the ability to create a rich user experience. Our Applications Grid has a lot of advanced features like fast-searching, filtering, sorting, exporting and the ability to perform common tasks. All this comes together to make using AppTracker very fast and simple.

  • Search for Applications
  • Right Click Menu
  • Filter Columns
  • Group Columns
  • Freeze Columns
  • Export Applications Grid Info
  • Change Column Order
  • Sort Columns

Searching the Applications Grid

AppTracker does a “search as you type” of the applications grid when you use the search box. This search is across all the columns in the grid and is very fast. It can reduce a application list of several thousand applications to only handful in less than a second.

Searching the Applications Grid

Right Click Menu

The Right Click Menu gives you quick access to some of AppTracker’s most common tasks and also allows for those tasks to be performed in bulk.

  • New Application Test – Raise a new App test. e.g. UAT/Smoke/Upgrade test
  • Change Process - Move selected application(s) to another process
  • Add To Blueprint - Add selected application(s) to a Blueprint
  • Remove from Blueprint - - Remove selected application(s) from a Blueprint
  • Application Properties – Shows a sub menu of properties; e.g. Package Type, Localisation and user defined custom properties
  • Application Dates – Shows a sub menu of dates; e.g Date Required and user defined custom dates
  • Assign To – Assign selected application(s) to a packager
  • Copy Revision Ids – Copy the selected Revision Ids to the clip board
  • Copy Client Ids – Copy the selected Client Id’s (your internal tracking reference tag) to the clip board
  • Archive – Flags an application(s) as Archived, Archived applications do not appear in searches or reports but can be toggled on in the Grid extensions menu to view all of their information.
  • Unarchive – To Unarchive an application(s) first toggle “Show Archived” in the Grid Extensions menu, select the archived applications you need to unarchive and click this option.

Right Click Menu

Filtering Columns

All columns on the grid show a filter icon beside their name that can be clicked to open. Once open the filter box allows columns to be filtered in a number of ways. You can tick the names you want to directly filter for, you can type in a key word and apply an operator like “Is Equal To”, “Starts With”, “Contains”, etc …. There are around fourteen operators to choose from. 
It is possible to apply two different operators to the same column;  for example it’s possible to filter a column of dates to a specific range using “Grater than Date A and Less than Date B”. 
You can also filter on more than one column at the same time; all this makes for some very powerful filtering.

Grouping Columns

By dragging a column header up to the grouping area above the grid it possible to group by that column. When the grid is grouped by a column it will add rows to the grid with the title of the column and a count of the applications in the group. Click the image for a bigger view of how this looks. 
Each group name can be clicked to collapse / expand that group. 
You can group by more than one column at time and it will form a hierarchical view of the column groups. 

Freezing Columns

If you are working with a lot of columns on a restricted view it can be hard to horizontally scroll left or right across the applications grid and still know which application you are looking at. There is very simple solution to this problem, Freeze the columns with the application name. The left hand side of the grid has a vertical bar that can be dragged out and placed at any column on the grid. Now when you horizontally scroll left and right the columns to the left of this freeze bar will not move. This lets you fix the applications name in the view and scroll right to some of the more obscure data and still know which applications you are looking at.

Change Column Order

AppTracker has a default column order of ID | Name | Vendor | Version etc.. this is good enough for most people but if want to change this order then simply drag the column headers around into an order that suits your working style. To save this new layout select “Configure” from the tool bar and click “Save Grid Layout”, note this will also save the current sort orders and grouped columns.

Export Grid Info

The applications grid is full of useful information and its while its very customisable sometimes you simply need to do something in Excel or maybe email to another person. For these scenarios it is possible to export the applications grid to Excel and a some other standard formats.

Sort Columns

It is easy to sort a column from A-Z or Z-A by clicking on the column header. It is also possible to do more advanced sorting by holding down the “Shift” key and clicking on the header of a number columns and sort by each column in turn.

AppTracker API & SCCM

I have been asked a lot recently about integrating AppTracker with SCCM. “Is it possible to read applications from AppTracker and use them to create SCCM Packages and Programs?” ...yes it is!AppTracker exposes a webservice API that customers can write scripts against quite easily.

To demonstrate just how easy it is I created a little video.(read on for an explanation of the video)

Let me explain what is happening…

I have a folder of executables that contains an xml file describing the applications I want to import. The xml file has some basic properties such as AppName, Vendor, Version and the path to setup.exe. The PowerShell script reads the applications from this xml file, it creates a folder structure [server]\[Vendor]\[Application]\[Version] and copies the installation files to the new folder.

After that it connects to the API and uses the “CreateApplication” method to raise the three new applications. It then uses the “AddApplicationNote” method to add a note to the new application and finally it uses the “SaveDiscoveryQuestion” method to add some discovery information such as the path to the source files.

Now that we have three new applications sitting in the “Discovery” process it’s time to move them to the “Packaging” process. We use “GetApplicationsInProcess” to get all of our “Discovery” applications from the API we can then use “MoveApplicationProcess” to move them on to “Packaging”.

Finally I create the SCCM objects, again I use “GetApplicationsInProcess” to retrieve the applications I want to publish. I use a mixture of PowerShell and WMI along with my retrieved application info to create the SCCM packages and programs. I then read the new Package ID from SCCM and write this information back to AppTracker using “SaveDiscoveryQuestion”. It is as easy as that!

I have now…

  1. Created three new applications in AppTracker from an xml source file.
  2. Moved the applications to a different process.
  3. Added new notes and discovery data.
  4. Created SCCM Packages & Programs.
  5. Saved the results back to AppTracker for reporting on later.

All via the API without ever needing to use the AppTracker client.

Be sure to keep an eye out for more posts on our API; with a little PowerShell and the AppTracker API you can automate almost anything in AppTracker.

Reporting - Testing

In this post I'll cover the three main application testing reports in AppTacker. 

Test Results

AppTracker supports UAT testing of applications, an application can have more than one UAT test against it and also different types of tests. This report shows a graph of completed,  upcoming and current application tests. The report groups together the Pass, Fail and Untested results, giving you an at a glance view of your current UAT tests status.

Test Results

Test Schedule

This report shows you a calendar view of the currently scheduled UAT tests. The entries in the calendar are colour coded based on the status of the UAT. Pass = Green, Fail = Red, Untested = Amber. This report gives you a good idea of how busy the test schedule will be for the upcoming weeks and months.

Test Schedule

QA Results

AppTracker has a dedicated QA screen that can be configured by you to show any number and type of QA checks, e.g. tick boxes, radio buttons, dropdowns and free text. The report shows the results of all those QA’s and allows you add any of the fields from your QA screen to the report.

Reporting - Miscellaneous

In this post I'll cover 3 miscellaneous reports that can be handy for getting obscure information.

Change History

AppTracker shows a detailed history of changes made to applications including who made the changes. The change history report shows you the changes made to a group of applications during a selected time period. This can be used to build bespoke reports not covered in the standard list.
For example:

  1. List all the applications raised in the last two weeks.
  2. List all the applications added to the UK Blueprint this month.
  3. Show all the changes made by a specific user this week.

This is achieved by filtering the history to the change events that you are looking for.

Change History

Applications Contacts

Applications can have different contacts attached to them, these can be for UAT, discovery, support, app owners etc. This report shows all the contacts associated with a list of applications and what type of contact they are.

Discovery Info

AppTracker’s Discovery Info tab is completely configurable by you, you can add text boxes, radio buttons, tick boxes, dropdowns … etc . If you want a report of a list of applications and some or all of these discovery options then this report will allow that. You can select all the major application fields and Discovery Info fields that you need and run the report. You’ll get back and excel style grid of the information.

Discovery Info


Reporting - Blueprints

In this post I'll cover the two main Blueprint reports in AppTracker.

Blueprint Process Totals

When you have a lot of Blueprints and various applications in each you might want to see the process totals breakdown for each of your Blueprints without having to click them individually in the applications view. This report shows you the various process totals in each of your Blueprints and can be configured for only processes you care about.

Applications in Blueprints

As AppTracker supports having the same applications in multiple Blueprints it can be useful to see which applications are requested the most across all of your Blueprints. This report and will show you a count of the number of Blueprints an application is in as well as the names of those Blueprints.

Reporting - Processes and Times

In this post I'll cover the 4 main processes and time reports in AppTracker. These reports in particular are essential information for on time software migrations.

Process Milestones

A very powerful report showing a bar chart of the total number of applications in the various different processes over a given period in the past. E.g. it’s possible to take a Blueprint of applications and check their process totals for the last six weeks or the last six months. This can show measurable process or lack of and the need for intervention.

Process Milestones

Process Deltas

This report builds on the process milestones report and can show you the rate of applications entering the different processes over a given period. For example this can show the rate of applications going from packaging to UAT and if it has remained constant. This is very good at  measurable if SLA's are getting meet by the various teams.

Process Deltas

Time in Current Process

If you are looking for bottle necks in your workflow this report can help, it will show the total time each applications has been in its current Process / Sub Process. This can then be further filtered and sorted to highlight the applications that have been stuck for days or weeks and need to be focused on.

Total Time in Processes

If you are trying to identify which processes are taking the longest, get the average packaging time or find the top 10 longest applications to package then this report will give you the building blocks. It will show the total time an app has spent in each process over its lifecycle.

Reporting

Over the next few days I will write a number of posts on AppTracker's reporting ability. This will cover Testing reports, Processes & Time reports, Blueprints reports and other handy reports all built into AppTracker. 

AppTracker contains very powerful and detailed set of reports that can be used to manage a software migration project from start to finish. Our reports can be run on all applications or any subset of applications allowing you to analyse and filter the application portfolio by Blueprint, process, vendor, packager etc, or any combination of these options!  

Report Types

There are three types of reports in AppTracker; Test Reports, Metric Reports and Inventory Reports.

Test Reports

Provide the ability to manage the testing and quality of the deliverables within the project. This is especially useful when trying to manage the process interfaces between teams such as the discovery team and an outsourced packaging company. By managing the quality throughout the workflow it is possible to substantially reduce costs and improve productivity.

Metric Reports

Allow a project manager to see how a project is progressing over time. By providing weekly or bi weekly snapshots of the workflow its possible to see if a project or process is stalling and whether team members need to be refocused to concentrate on difficult areas.

Inventory Reports

Provide the ability to extract information from the extensive application knowledge base. This knowledge base can be dynamically defined and extended by the administrator as requirements come into the project. It then becomes possible to ask questions such as "show me all the applications used by Marketing", "Show me all the applications that connect to ServerX", "Show me all applications that failed quality step Y"

Output

All of the reports can be printed directly to a printer or exported to Excel, word CSV and other standard formats for further manipulation.

Dashboard Reporting

The AppTracker Dashboard is the first screen that everyone will see when the open AppTracker. It shows three charts. Users can configure this view for the processes or package types they are most interested in.

  1. A snapshot of the current processes and the number of applications in each.
  2. A pie chart of the breakdown of application types that are in the system, e.g. msi, app-v, citrix. 
  3. A progress history of applications moving through the various processes since the beginning of the project. 

Dashboard Reporting


AppTracker – Blueprints

Blueprints

What are Blueprints?

Blueprints in AppTracker are an extremely powerful tool.  It is our term for a labelled collection of applications. This could be all the applications in a department, in an office, in a site, in a country... It’s up to you!  Blueprints are held as a tree structure so you can create many levels of Blueprints to model your project deliverables. All of our reports can be run on Blueprints making our reports very powerful and very granular. 

Why are they so powerful?

Blueprints give you the power to chop up your applications portfolio anyway you want. Rather than looking at list of 3000+ applications and wondering how the project is going you can zoom into a single department and see if all its applications are ready. As Blueprints are held a tree it’s possible to zoom out a level and see how all the departments are doing. There is no limit to how granular you want to make your Blueprints, the more the better. 

An Example

Take a look at the Blueprint tree in the screenshot above. We have Offices > Europe > UK > London. I can filter my applications list to just the applications in London at one click. I can also see the status of all the applications in the UK or Europe … All at one click! As this is linked to reporting we can easily get a report on the progress of all the applications in UK, England, Europe etc. 

Security and Roles

Blueprints are an integral part of AppTracker and as such receive special attention around who can access them and what they can do. If you have an especially large number of AppTracker users (one of our clients has over 450 users / 4000 apps), you might not want all of those users to see all of the applications in the portfolio, only the ones that are relevant to them. It is possible to give an AppTracker user “read-only” or “read write”  access to all, some or none of the Blueprints and their associated applications. For example I can give all the UK BA’s access to only the UK Blueprint of applications and they will not see or even be aware of applications outside of those Blueprints. This is another example of how powerful Blueprints can be. 

Using Custom Properties

There are 18 custom properties available for clients to configure. These are split into 8 textboxes, 5 dropdowns, 3 date/time pickers and 2 date pickers. These properties are displayed on the App Details tab under the blueprints and can also be displayed on the main application grid.

Custom Properties

Configure

Admin Section -> Applications Tab

Note: Any changes you make in the Admin section are not reflected in AppTracker until after you refresh your browser.

The App Detail Fields tab shows all of the available properties in AppTracker and allows you to turn them on/off or rename them. It also allows to you choose which fields are displayed on the main grid. 

Options:

  • Display As:  This is the name of the custom property you are using.
  • Is Visible: Turns the property on in the App Details tab.
  • Is ReadOnly: Valid on textboxes if ticked the users can’t edit this field
  • Is Enabled: Valid on date pickers and dropdowns, if ticked users can’t edit these values
  • Show On Grid: Tick to show this property on the main grid
  • Grid Index: This controls the order of the columns on the main grid. 

Main Grid Context Menu

If you turn on a custom date or dropdown setting the values in bulk becomes available on the main grid. 

Context Menu

Custom Dates

Custom Dates 1-3 display as Date/Time pickers and Custom Dates 4 & 5 display are displayed as date pickers.

Date Time Picker

Date Time Picker

Date Picker

Date Picker

Dropdowns

The List 1-5 properties require some extra configuration to populate the options in the dropdowns.

Admin -> Miscellaneous Config -> Dropdown Items

To create drop-down options 

  1. Add a new row
  2. Set the Group Name to CustomPropertListX
  3. Set the Item Value to your drop-down option
  4. If the sort order is set to 0 it will sort alphabetically, you can override this by specifying a number here
  5. Set the visibility of the option. By default this is false so you will need to tick it

Example

I want to create drop-down called Direction and have four options. “Left, Right, Up, Down”

I will use CustomPropertyList2 and set its “Display As” to “Direction”

Then I go to the “Miscellaneous Config -> Dropdown Items” and add four new rows

DON’T FORGET TO SAVE THESE CHANGES. 

In the App Details it looks this:

App Details

On the Main Grid it looks like this:

Main Grid